The construction industry had 413,000 job openings in December, according to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey. JOLTS defines a job opening as any unfilled position for which an employer is actively recruiting. Industry job openings increased by 82,000 for the month and are up by 54,000 from December 2021.
“The number of open construction jobs surged in at the end of 2022,” said ABC Chief Economist Anirban Basu. “The 5% of industrywide positions that were unfilled in December is the third highest level on record and higher than at any point since 2000, when the data series began, until October 2021. With more than 55% of contractors planning to increase their staffing levels over the next six months, according to ABC’s Construction Confidence Index, labor shortages will remain a stiff headwind for the industry.
“While parts of the economy, like consumer spending, are beginning to show signs of weakness, demand for labor remains significantly elevated,” said Basu. “Economywide job openings increased for the first time since September and remain about 57% above pre-pandemic levels. The implication here is that contractors, who have been facing labor shortages for several years, must now compete with other industries for workers.”